There’s always something special about that first full day exploring a new city.
So many little nuggets of information to take in for the senses. You know the adage: “seen one Old Town, you’ve seen them all”? Not true! Kraków’s Old Town has this moody, medieval aesthetic that I’m totally digging.
This is the Main Market Square, Rynek Główny, in the Old Town. It dates back to the 13th century, and is one of the oldest medieval squares in Europe (look at me, quoting Wikipedia).
The square is just a 10 minute walk from my AirBnB, so exploring it was the first thing on my agenda.
JK, the first thing was coffee. Cause I am a human with needs.
This flat white was DELICIOUS. And 1/3 a cost of what it would have been in Copenhagen. (Poland, did I mention how much I love you?)
This behemoth is St. Mary’s Basilica, built in the 13 & 14th centuries.
And here we have the Cloth Hall, a place where traveling merchants used to sell their goodies way back in the day.
Now it’s more of a mainstay for overpriced tourist trinkets.
(That traveling solo selfie life.)
This is Eros Bendato, the severed head of Cupid meant to symbolize lost love, or sadness, or something. It’s a controversial monument by Polish artist, Igor Mitoraj. Apparently, Kraków citizens didn’t like it and wanted it to be put next to the train station instead of in the main square. Mitoraj had a fit, stomped his feet, and so the statue stayed put.
I think it looks pretty cool. *shrug*
I joined one of those free walking tours at this point. The guide was waving a Union Jack with a sign saying FREE TOUR JOIN US, and for some reason I couldn’t resist. I’m not big on these sorts of things, but it was actually kind of fun to tag along.
Our tour guide took us a few streets over from the Main Square to the The Collegium Maius – the oldest university in Kraków. Copernicus studied here, way back in the 1490s!
Fun fact: Pope John Paul II was Polish, and grew up in Kraków. (I guess this is a pretty well known fact, making it less “fun,” but tomato-tomahto.) They pay homage to him all throughout the city.
Another “fun” fact: Poland, as a nation, is 84% Catholic.
And they take church going real seriously.
Taking this bike back to Copenhagen with me. Cause, goals!
And on that flowery note… *inserts bookmark* …So much more to come, but I am le tired. Time to cozy up in the AirBnB and crash.
Next up: more walking, more exploring, and then — Wawel Castle.